When students venture to Halifax for post-secondary education they may find themselves confined to a bare and lonely existence, limited to lives spent in dungeon-like classrooms and a dimly lit library cubicle. Academic responsibilities prevent them from taking advantage of the offerings outside the school environment. It’s easy to get lost in the books to the exclusion of any outside stimulation. Yes, success in school is one of our goals, but it is worthwhile to explore Halifax during the brief time that we call the city our home.
One of the standout qualities of the city is its natural beauty. From the adventurous and bold to the tame and mild, there are so many possibilities to partake in outdoor life. Each season offers its own options. In the fall, the especially brave can throw on their gear and train for a marathon, grab a wetsuit and dive into surfing lessons on the wharf or embark into the wild on a camping trip.
The magical wintertime brings students to the Oval skating rink, the ski slope or on a sleigh ride. In the spring, the more studious can go preppy and sign up for a round of golf at a local course. Outside the city, the more athletically inclined can go sea kayaking, rafting and hiking or exploring the rocks and lighthouse at Peggy’s Cove.
Halifax itself offers uniquely Maritime cultural and artistic experiences. Students can explore one of the beautiful art galleries or museums. Ancestors who landed in Halifax via boat can be looked up at the Canadian Museum of Immigration at Pier 21. The city presents music and film festivals with diverse content, including the Halifax Pop Explosion, a jazz festival and the independent offerings of the Atlantic Fringe Festival.
Another possibility for students to engage in the surrounding city is through community service. Organizations throughout the city serve different segments of the population with a variety of needs that would appreciate student initiative. Whether it be YouthNet, a program that provides lunch and after-school programs for underprivileged youth, or the Ecology Action Centre, which engages students in environmental issues, there are worthy programs that could benefit from student involvement.
By getting involved with the surrounding community, students discover the culture of the city around them, get outside their comfort zones, and engage in the possibilities that abound in this city.